Smallwood eyes chance

Boro starlet looking to replace injured Bailey

Richie Smallwood: Looking to grasp Boro chance with Nicky Bailey injured

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Middlesbrough starlet Richie Smallwood has told Sky Sports that he is hoping to get the chance to replace the injured Nicky Bailey.

Smallwood has seen his chances limited so far this season, with Bailey successfully filling the holding role in midfield.

But Bailey has now been sidelined for around six weeks with a knee injury, and Smallwood is hoping he can get the chance to fill the void.

Smallwood started Boro's first game of the New Year at Blackpool, and he is now looking to remain in the side.

Winning

"The team have been winning games and have been close to the top of the league all season so I've had to be very patient especially with the reduction from seven to five substitutes," Smallwood told Sky Sports.

"Bails has been brilliant this season and one of our most important players but I am confident that if the manager gives me the chance that I can push hard to retain my place in the team.

"I know what I can do and the manager and the coaching staff know what I can do. If I play I will give 100 per cent and I know I can play my part to help the team be successful.

"Sometimes it is an injury or suspension to somebody else that gives you your chance and you have to grab that with both hands."